Eco-Friendly Office Design Tips

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Eco-Friendly Office Design Tips

This was written by Kelli Cooper of Empire business furniture.

Office buildings account for a large chunk of energy use and in the effort to go green, the onus is on the business world especially. Being a better friend to the environment is also good for your wallet and there are several ways that offices can be more eco-friendly and dramatically cut down on energy consumption.

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Lighting Fixes

There are several ways offices can cut down on electricity use with more efficient lighting being a major player. T-8 florescent lamps give better color, flicker less and use 20 percent less energy than the commonly installed T-12 lamps. Look into installing sensors in areas that are not used frequently, such as break rooms, so that the lights only go on when someone is actually utilizing the space. Use lower-energy bulbs such as compact florescent lamps (CFL), light emitting diodes (LED) or neon lighting for exit signs and other types of lit signage.

Climate Control

Heating and cooling accounts for about 39 percent of energy use in an office. Programmable thermostats can significantly cut down on wasted energy. Each separate room should have its own control.  Set the temperature to go down at times when the office is not being used, such as in the evening or the weekends.  Adjusting the temperature by just three or four degrees can save 10 percent on your energy bill—this may not sound like a lot but could add up to substantial savings when you are heating and cooling larger spaces, like an office. Outside air economizers can also reduce cooling costs by utilizing the cooler air outside to cool the air inside the building.

Energy Efficient Products

Using computers, heating and cooling equipment and other energy-efficient products is a significant step in having a more eco-friendly office. The Environmental Protection Agency developed the Energy Star designation for products that cut down on greenhouse gases and other harmful substances emitted from inefficient energy use; these items have been deemed to work as well as their conventional counterparts and if they happen to cost more, the energy savings you will reap using them are expected to balance out the higher price tag. Power-management tools in the computer can help reduce energy use by performing functions such as automatically turning off monitors after periods of inactivity.

Cutting Down on Water Use

Office buildings use up about 20 percent of the fresh water supply. There are several ways to cut down on water waste. Faucet aerators reduce water use without reducing water pressure. Waterless urinals can make a significant dent in water use—if more public buildings used them, trillions of gallons of water would be saved ever year; that is a lot of water.


If you have a lawn, gardens or other greenery around your office building, eco-friendly landscaping techniques are also something to consider to be more environmentally friendly. Using native plants in your landscaping will cut down on water use as well as reduce the need for chemical protectants as they are adapted to the rainfall patterns and local pests. Compost will not only make your landscaping more beautiful, it will help the soil retain more moisture, reducing water use. It may not be practical to start a compost pile at your office so you can buy it at nurseries and other places that sell flowers, trees and gardening supplies, such as a home improvement store.

This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

About Kelli Cooper

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in all things health. If you are interested in following a structured diet program that provides meals, check out the Medifast diet review as one potential option. Besides regularly contributing to Naturally Earth Friendly, Kelli writes for a number of other blogs and particularly enjoys writing about healthy weight loss and healthy eating. She is an avid traveler and has lived in numerous countries.

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